TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index lost nearly two percent on Thursday, extending falls in New York as the yen edged higher, weighing on exporters.
The Nikkei 225 index fell 1.97 percent, or 422.94 points, to close at 21,046.24, while the broader Topix index was down 2.11 percent, or 33.14 points, at 1,534.27.“A higher yen and falls on Wall Street dampened market sentiment,” said Shinichi Yamamoto, broker at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.
“Recently profit-taking has quickly emerged whenever the Nikkei rises toward 22,000,” Yamamoto told AFP.
“The Tokyo market has been trapped in this vicious cycle,” he added. US Treasury yields have moved lower, sending the dollar weaker against its major peers including the yen.
The greenback fell to 107.67 yen in Asian afternoon trade from 108.11 yen in New York on Wednesday.
“Investors are increasingly taking a wait-and-see attitude ahead of corporate earnings season from next week,” Yamamoto said.
In Tokyo, Canon dropped 4.01 percent to 3,036 yen after the business daily Nikkei reported it will revise down its full-year earnings forecasts when it reports half year-to June earnings next week.Other exporters were also lower, with Hitachi down 2.14 percent at 3,882 yen and Sharp 4.09 percent lower at 1,358 yen.
Japan’s trade surplus shrank 19.0 percent year-on-year to 589.5 billion yen ($5.46 billion) in June, as falls in exports — particularly ships and auto parts — overwhelmed declines in imports, according to official data issued 10 minutes before the opening bell.
The country’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the US rose 13.5 percent to 669.9 billion yen chiefly due to a rise in exports of chip-making equipment and automobiles, the finance ministry said.